Cash-strapped anglers are urged to fish locally as the new trout fishing season opens on October 1.
Now more than ever, people needed time to unwind, reconnect with friends and family, and get outdoors among nature, Otago Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey said.
‘‘Fortunately, Otago residents don’t have to travel far to find good freshwater fishing,’’ he said.
People need to look after their wellbeing as living costs reach all-time highs, including mounting grocery and fuel bills.
The opening of the 2022-23 freshwater sports fishing season lands conveniently on October 1.
Many of Otago’s main urban centres are only minutes from ‘‘put and take’’ rainbow trout fisheries across the region which are regularly stocked — Otago Fish & Game only releases trout into confined reservoirs which have no natural recruitment.
Central Otago’s ‘‘put and take’’ fisheries include Butchers Dam and the Lower Manorburn Dam, near Alexandra, and Perkins Pond near Roxburgh.
The Maniototo includes Blakelys, Coal Pit, Hamiltons, Mathias and Rutherfords dams, and McAtamney’s Head Pond.
Opening dates vary for these fisheries, so check the regulations.
‘‘Anglers are itching to head out and fish for naive trout that have been undisturbed in closed waters for the past four months,’’ Mr Quirey said.
Most rivers and streams look to be in good shape early season as abundant snow thaws in the headwaters.
In coastal reaches, anglers are catching large sea›run brown trout chasing bait fish in estuaries, and pastural streams have been flushed by winter flows.
On the big southern lakes, rainbow trout are amassing at river mouths for the spawning run. Spring also serves up some of the best fishing for landlocked salmon.
Anglers are reminded they will need to carry a valid 2022-23 sports fishing licence.